Quality of life and functional status among homeless men attending a day shelter in Louisville, Kentucky.

R. P. Steiner, S. W. Looney, L. R. Hall, K. M. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The homeless present important social and medical problems in most parts of the United States, including urban areas of Kentucky. While some studies have examined the health status of the homeless, very little is known about their quality of life or functional status. In the present study, 188 homeless men attending St. John's Day Shelter in Louisville completed an interviewer-assisted instrument that assessed self-perceived quality of life using the Perceived Quality of Life (PQOL) scale and self-perceived functional status using the Dartmouth COOP charts. The instrument also included questions on demographics and health risk behaviors of the homeless men. The results show that the typical homeless male attending St. John's is an unmarried, white, middle-aged high school graduate who is unemployed. In terms of quality of life, these men indicate general satisfaction with their physical and cognitive abilities, but significantly lower satisfaction with the social aspects of their lives. With regard to functional status, the homeless men report that they function best in terms of physical fitness and ability to perform daily activities. They report lower assessments of overall health, feelings, quality of life, and social support. These results suggest that poor social role functioning among homeless men is a major contributor to their poor quality of life. Thus, improving their health and quality of life may require an emphasis on social services in addition to routine medical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-195
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of the Kentucky Medical Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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